In de startblokken voor het nieuwe seizoen

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De echte Formule 1 fan heeft zijn wekker natuurlijk al gezet voor volgende week zondagochtend 4 uur. Dan gaat namelijk het nieuwe Formule 1 seizoen weer van start in het Australische Melbourne. En het ziet er naar uit dat zeer interessant kan gaan worden. Michael Schumacher is natuurlijk eindelijk met pensioen en we hebben voor het eerst een volledig Nederlands team, met een Nederlandse coureur.

Zoals gebruikelijk zijn er weer een heleboel rijderswissels geweest, de hoogste tijd dus voor een klein overzicht van de teams die komend jaar aan de start zullen verschijnen.

Vodafone McLaren Mercedes
Fernando Alonso
Lewis Hamilton

ING Renault F1
Giancarlo Fisichella
Heikki Kovalainen

Scuderia Ferrari
Felipe Massa
Kimi Räikkönen

Honda Racing Team
Jenson Button
Rubens Barrichello

BMW Sauber F1
Nick Heidfeld
Robert Kubica

Panasonic Toyota Racing
Jarno Trulli
Ralf Schumacher

Red Bull Racing
David Coulthard
Mark Webber

AT&T Williams F1 Team
Nico Rosberg
Alexander Wurz

Scuderia Toro Rosso
Vitantonio Liuzzi
Scott Speed

Spyker F1
Adrian Sutil
Christijan Albers

Super Aguri F1
Takuma Sato
Anthony Davidson

En gelukkig blijkt uit de kalender voor het komende seizoen dat het F1 circus weer zal neerstrijken op het legendarische circuit van Spa Francorchamps.

UPDATE Vanavond van 22:20 tot 23:08 op RTL7 een voorbeschouwing op het nieuwe seizoen



29 reacties

De Opel Ampera-e is duizenden euro's goedkoper geworden. Kijk hier voor meer info!
Gaat weer een leuk jaar worden denk ik :)
die winterstop duurt veels te lang kom maar op
kan bijna niet wachten tot het nieuwe jaar begint .
het wordt Räikkönen vs Alonso
Ik heb er echt zin in. En het is trouwens Spyker MF1
@Alfaxa Het is helemaal geen Spyker MF1 (m staat namelijk voor midland en dat is weg) de officiele naam is Spyker Formula One Team.

Ik kan niet wachten, heb met veel plezier de wintertest gevolgd en McLaren, Ferrari en BMW zitten heel dicht bij elkaar.. ook de strijd massa raikonnen zal spannend worden…
Nu Schumacher weg is zal Super Aguri het hele circus wel gaan winnen…
Ik heb er ook erg veel zin in, ik denk toch dat massa ook erg hoge ogen gaat gooien. Vorig jaar was er bij Ferrari duidelijk een nummer 1 en 2. Dit is nu niet het geval, dus ik denk dat massa wel gaat vlammen.

Verder hoop ik dat dit seizoen en anders het seizoen erop Doornbos aan de bak komt, en dan niet weer testen maar gewoon als race coureur.
@ Floris, denk dat meneer Massa ook nog wel een woordje gaat meespreken, hij zit al een jaar langer bij Ferrari, en wordt hoger ingeschat dan meneer Raikonnen

@JPM volgens mij moet het nog MF heten voor het chassis, is iets met de aanvraag van destijds, ze mochten de naam wel veranderen in Spyker maar de typenummers moeten dacht ik nog een jaar MF blijven….

En denk trouwens dat BMW zeer hoge ogen gaat gooien dit jaar, zijn de hele winter al sterk met testen…

En vergeet Hamilton, Kovalainen en Kubica niet…

Man Man, wat een jaar gaat dit worden is het al volgende week!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
zij er eigenlijk belgische coureurs? ik zal natuurlijk ook wel supportere voor mijn noorderburen :)
Tuurlijk, je hebt Thierry Boutsen, Jacky Ickx, en niet te vergeten de man die er voor zorgde dat Michael Schumacher z’n debut kreeg bij Jordan, Bertrand Cachot…

Maar op dit moment zit er dacht ik niks in de kweekvijver, of het moet Jeffrey van Hooydonk zijn…superlicentie gehaald in 2005 met het Midland F1 team, maar wat op ie op dit moment doet, geen idee…
Ik vind het alleen zo kut dat Alonso naar mclaren is gegaan. Ik ben altijd supporter gewweest van mclaren met de laatste jaren een hekel aan die Alonso van Renault komt die gast opeens naar mclaren! GVD!
Ik supporter voor kimi , na jaren underdog gespeeld te hebben, denk ik dat het nu wel eens zijn beurt is om wereld kampioen te worden ;)
@Marco
hij racet nu renault megane’s en een gt3 in belcar
Raikonnen mag dit jaar eindelijk wel eens wereldkampioen worden..
Misschien even aan toevoegen dat vanavond op RTL 7 om 22.20u een preview wordt uitgezonden?
@- Koen, het is aangepast!
Ik ga Schummi missen! Hij was vorig jaar de beste en is nog altijd de beste, srr voor alle Alonso fans maar het is zo.

Dit jaar verwacht ik een strijd tussen : Massa-Button-Raïkonnen-Alons-…
MCLAREN ALLLL THE WAYYYYY!!!!!!!!!!!!
Ik vraag me af of de nieuwe revlimit en de nieuwe bandenregels de spanning er uit gaan halen. Ik ga ook Shumi erg missen!!
@Michael

Button?? neeahh, die heeft altijd ongeluk, weet je ng die ene race, 20 meter voor finish (1e plaats) begeeft zn motor het.. :)

die amn heeft altijd ongeluk… wens hem wel veel sterkte dit seizoen
De grootste regelverandering van dit jaar…

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Tyres: No competition

The major change to the wording of the tyre rules comes in 2008, because that is when F1 officially becomes a one-tyre formula. For this year the world championship is still technically open to more than one supplier – Michelin left a year early, remember. However, there have been some changes in the rules that reflect the true situation.

The key update to the overall tyre rules is under Art 25.1.b – if there is one tyre supplier, it must ‘make available identical quantities and specifications of tyres to all teams during a calendar year.’ That clearly includes testing, although the details of allocation are enshrined in a testing agreement between Bridgestone and the teams in which the FIA has not participated directly. But having that rule in place should help to ensure that the agreement is respected.

There are major changes to how tyre supply works on race weekends, and most have been introduced to make life as easy as possible for Bridgestone. Since it now has to supply all 22 cars, the company faces a serious logistical challenge.

The key thing is that teams are now encouraged to use the prime and option tyres through the weekend, rather than making a final choice before qualifying. That ensures that far fewer unused tyres will be scrapped at the end of the weekend. The rules have also been shaped to encourage teams to run as much as possible by giving them plenty of tyres to play with – especially important on Fridays, with practice now extended from two to three hours.

In the course a race weekend a driver can now use no more than 14 sets of dry tyres, five sets of wets (intermediates), and four sets of extreme wets.

On Friday each driver has two sets of each specification of dry tyre. These have to be returned to Bridgestone before the start of Saturday practice – in other words you might as well go out and use them, as there is no benefit in saving them up for the rest of the weekend.

For Saturday/Sunday, each driver has 10 further sets of dry tyres, or five sets of each specification. One set of each type has to be returned after Saturday practice, again ensuring that drivers take to the track during that session, because they cannot save these sets for use later on.

That still leaves up to eight new sets of dry tyres for qualifying and the race (although you can of course use some of them on Saturday morning). That is an astonishingly generous amount that will ensure that teams throw a lot of new sets at qualifying, and still have plenty left for the race.

The challenge will be deciding how to share out the soft and hard tyres over the two days. Crucially, Art 25.5.f states that each driver must now use at least one set of each specification in the race. However, if wet tyres are used at any point in the race, that requirement is cancelled.

Good news for media and fans is that a late clarification under Art 25.1.b means the prime and option tyres will now have to be ‘visibly distinguishable from one another when a car is on the track.’

At the time of writing the FIA and Bridgestone were still discussing how that will be done. Don’t expect to see the red and blue system that has been mooted, however. The most likely initial scenario is that one of the types – whether it will be the prime or option is not yet decided – will have some kind of white mark, which at speed will give the impression of a white sidewall.

There is no decision yet as to whether the media will be given a definitive list of what type of tyres each car starts on – the complication is that teams are free to change their minds until three minutes before the start.

The wet tyre allocation has been the subject of some discussion. A very late addition to the rules, made at the request of the teams, is the provision that each driver has one set of wets (intermediates) and one set of extreme wets just for Friday. This was finalised only on Monday this week.

These are the only wet tyres that can be used on Friday, and are extra to what was originally envisaged. A single set of each type is not very many when three hours of practice are available, but since these tyres can only be used on Friday, it will at least encourage teams to run. Until recently there was a real threat that they would hardly go out at all if it looked like being a wet weekend, and in effect they had to ration the wets. If they are used on Friday, these extra tyres have to be returned to Bridgestone.

For the whole of Saturday and Sunday, each driver will have four further sets of wets and three sets of extreme wets. This is what they used to have for a full weekend, but nevertheless it is a marginal number should it be raining for the whole two days.

Interestingly, sources tell us that this extra Friday allocation was finalised so late that at the first three races Bridgestone will only have only enough tyres to give each driver the previously agreed four sets of wets and three extreme wets, because they were shipped from Japan some time ago. So Friday rain in Australia or Malaysia could still present a problem.

Engines: The big freeze

Contrary to what you might expect, the most important engine issues come under the sporting rather than technical regulations. The biggest single change in the 2007 rules is Art 28.5, which states that ‘Only engines which have been homologated by the FIA in accordance with Appendix 4 may be used at an event during the 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010 seasons.’

Appendix 4 is a completely new section, and details what constitutes a homologated engine, and what changes were permissible after the end of the 2006 season. By Brazil each manufacturer had lodged an engine with the FIA, and by December 15 they had to submit details of any changes, principally those required to deal with the 19,000rpm limit. On March 1 they had to hand over a definitive 2007 engine with those modifications included.

There are no specific provisions written into the rules regarding regular checks on homologation, but the FIA has the right to take an engine away for detailed comparison with the sample units it holds. To assist this process it has added a former Cosworth engineer to its technical team. He will be at the races, and will generally keep an eye on the engine situation.

Appendix 4 clarifies the obligations of the teams and states: ‘The supplier of a homologated engine and/or the team using the homologated engine must take and/or facilitate such steps as the FIA may at any time and in its absolute discretion determine in order to satisfy the FIA that an engine used at an event is indeed identical to the corresponding engine delivered to and held by the FIA.’

The big difference from last year is that while the engines still have to do two race weekends, as far as engines are concerned Friday practice is not counted as part of the event. In other words, drivers can use a different engine on Fridays and run as many miles as they want without compromising the rest of the weekend. However, that engine still has to be of the usual, homologated type.

The rule about teams deliberately retiring cars in order to get a new engine at the next race has been clarified – it now says that it can only be for ‘reasons which the technical delegate accepts as being beyond the control of the team.’

Safety Car: Melbourne will be fun!

The safety car rules have been completely revamped for this year, and bearing in mind we had no fewer than four interventions in Australia last year, the opening race could be highly likely to put them to the test.

Henceforth, under Art 40, the moment that the safety car message is displayed on the screens, no car may enter the pitlane for the ‘purpose of refuelling.’

Drivers can still come in for urgent repairs or to change tyres, which might be necessary if they were involved in the initial incident or ran over debris, but they cannot refuel. However, anyone who was already in the pits or the pit entry when the safety car signal went out is allowed to carry on and refuel.

There could be some close calls on this, but the safety car line, which is marked on the track near the pit entry, will be used to judge who was genuinely committed to coming in. If a team has any doubts as their car heads down pitlane, they could always wave the driver out again.

Once all the cars are stacked up behind the safety car, the message ‘Pit Lane Open’ will be shown on the screens. At this point everyone in the queue is allowed to pit and refuel.

This is where things get interesting. What if you were due to pit within a lap or two of the safety car coming out and you are destined to run out before the ‘Pit Lane Open’ message comes up (despite switching to full economy mode behind the safety car)? Well, you can come in and fuel early – but you then face a Draconian penalty of a 10-second stop-and-go.

Clearly, this could catch some drivers out, so the onus is on the teams to leave a margin. Thus if you plan to pit on lap 20, you should have 21-22 or so laps in the tank just in case a safety car comes out on lap 19 or 20. Of course, convincing race engineers to always carry that extra weight will not be easy.

If the start/finish straight is blocked and the queue is forced to run through the pitlane, and the Pit Lane Open signal has not been given, the same stop-and-go penalty will still apply to anyone who takes on fuel.

After farcical scenes at Spa in 2005, provision was immediately added to the regs to deter anyone from holding up the queue – Giancarlo Fisichella was famously caught out in China. That has now been expanded as follows: ‘Any car being driven unnecessarily slowly, erratically or which is deemed potentially dangerous to other drivers at any time whilst the safety car is deployed will be reported to the stewards. This will apply whether any such car is being driven on the track, the pit entry or the pit lane.’

Clearly it is necessary to discourage drivers from running slowly to deliberately slow down the process of bunching the field up. Of course the longer it takes, the more chance of forcing a rival into choosing between running out of fuel or taking the 10-secs stop-and-go.

The second major change to the safety car rules is designed to create clean restarts with no slow cars getting in the way of the lead battle.

When it is considered safe, the message ‘Lapped Cars May Now Overtake’ will be displayed on the screen. That means that any lapped cars that are in front of or mixed up with those on the lead lap can pass the safety car, do a complete lap, and join the queue at the back. When the restart comes, all the cars on the lead lap will be at the front and thus slower cars cannot get in the way.

Getting this process sorted out is bound to extend the safety car period to some degree, but the FIA is confident that it won’t make a significant difference.

It is apparent that depending on the timing, as soon as the ‘Pit Lane Open’ message goes out, we could have every single car following each other into the pitlane, and thus every team committed to stacked double stops. That’s going to be exciting, NASCAR-style stuff, and in order to calm things down a little the pitlane speed limit for the race has been cut from 100km/h to 80km/h. The new limit also applies for qualifying, while it remains at 60km/h for practice.

Finally, it’s worth noting that while the cars are waiting for the pit lane to open, teams will have a significant amount of time to review their strategy options, whereas in the past when a safety car came out they might have only a few seconds to respond.

That gets particularly interesting during those stacked stops. Two teammates cannot swap places behind the safety car, but there’s nothing in the rules that says the first to arrive at the pit is also the first to be serviced. The first car in can always be pushed aside and made to wait.

Remember Ferrari’s problems in Turkey last year, when Schumacher had to wait while Massa was fuelled? Now teams will have more time to work out the most beneficial way of doing things.

Resumptions: Follow the leader

That rule about getting the lapped cars out of the way of the leaders also applies in the case of race suspensions under red flags (we have not had ‘stoppages’ as such for a while now), and that has been clarified.

In the last few minutes before the resumption after a suspension, and depending on how long the lap is, any cars which are mixed up with the lead group are allowed to complete a lap and rejoin the field at the back. The resumption then takes place behind a safety car. Indeed the FIA more or less regards a suspension as a safety car period with the cars standing still, so it makes sense to have the same rules.

A subtle addition to the race suspension rules says that when cars have been unable to return to the start/finish area due to a track blockage, on being brought back they will line up with the order ‘taken at the last point at which it was possible to determine the position of all cars.’

This could apply at somewhere like Monaco where the whole field might get blocked behind an incident part way round the lap. The race order would be taken from the end of the previous sector, which may or may not be the actual start/finish line.

Races are supposed to be resumed after just a single lap behind the safety car, but that may now be extended ‘if the cars are not yet all in a line behind the safety car.’

Starts: No pushing allowed

Until now, in theory, drivers who had stalled at the start of the formation lap or the start proper, and who were able to restart their engines when being pushed from the grid to the pitlane, were able to rejoin the race.

In reality it’s been a while since you could successfully bump start an F1 car in that way, so it hasn’t really been an issue. Occasionally GP2 drivers who stalled tried to get going when being pushed rather than steer towards the pitlane, creating some confusion. By way of tidying up the rules for both series, that option has now gone.

Another change which is directed at minimising problems during race starts states that team members are now officially allowed to go to a stalled car on the grid and help the marshals push it to the pitlane. The point of this is that they are the guys most adept at shifting their own cars in a hurry. This is a largely a result of an instance at the Nurburgring, where race starter Whiting personally ordered mechanics to go to the aid of a stalled car after an extra formation lap created a little confusion.

While we’re on the subject of pushing, from this year cars can only be driven to the end of the pitlane, whereas last year there was provision for the mechanics to push them – but only in the five minutes prior to Q3. In the event everyone chose to save time by driving down the pitlane and waiting with their engines running, so that exception has now been taken out.

Infringements: Penalty kicks

Last year there was a lot of confusion when drivers who committed an offence such as blocking during qualifying (or ignoring yellow flags in practice) were penalised with the loss of a number of qualifying lap times. The big problem was that taking away his two best times might knock one driver down one place, and another 10.

The same went for adding one or two seconds to a qualifying time, as famously happened to Alonso and Schumacher in Hungary. In effect the stewards had to check what the exact outcome of any penalty might be before they dished it out.

To make life easier under Art 31.6 the stewards can now give a penalty of dropping the driver ‘such number of grid positions as they consider appropriate.’ No appeals are allowed.

Last year the saga of blocking penalties got out of hand, and Schumacher’s Monaco efforts added another dimension. All such eventualities now fall under the following: ‘Any driver taking part in any practice session who, in the opinion of the stewards, stops unnecessarily on the circuit or unnecessarily impedes another driver shall be subject to the penalties referred to in Article 31.6.’

That phrase ‘unnecessarily impedes’ builds in some leeway in cases such as that of Alonso at Monza last year, and the consensus of the stewards is that the driver deserves the benefit of the doubt.

The grid position penalty also applies to any driver who, for example, misses a weight check, whereas before it involved the deletion of times.

Last year there was some confusion over what the final grid would look like on those occasions when several drivers had penalties. That has now been made easier, in that penalties are applied in the order that the offences were committed, and there’s a new grid order after each one is done.

As far as 10 place engine change penalties are concerned, they will be considered in the order that the teams notified the FIA that an engine change would be carried out.

It can sometimes get a bit crowded at the back of the grid, but those with engine change penalties will automatically take precedence over anyone whose qualifying times have been deleted, which would typically be because of a technical offence such as a wing infringement.

Where a ‘tie breaker’ is still required, cars concerned will line up in numerical order.

One minor change concerns when teams are notified of decisions or communications. Previously it said that teams ‘must be’ informed within 25 minutes of a decision; to build some margin into the system that has been changed to ‘should be.’

Parc ferme: To change or not to change?

Under the parc ferme rules, teams have previously been allowed to make certain last minute changes of damaged parts without express written permission from the FIA. That has now been further clarified.

Art 34.1 now says: ‘If a team wishes to change a part during the qualifying session and/or on the grid before the start of the race, this may be done without first seeking the permission of the technical delegate, provided it is reasonable for the relevant team to believe permission would be given if there was time to ask and the broken or damaged part remains in full view of the scrutineer assigned to the car at all times.’

Money: For a few Euros more

In recent years teams have moved increasingly towards using the Euro in sponsorship deals and driver salaries, and the FIA has now followed suit, which means all fines will henceforth be charged in that currency. This is made clear in the Sporting Regs, which now specify that the pit lane speeding offences are now worth 200 Euros per km/h, while the fee for a protest is 2,000 Euros.

Safety: May the force be with you

An interesting addition to the Sporting Regs is the provision of a medical warning light in the cockpit of the cars. It registers the size of an impact, and if the light comes on after an accident the marshals are under orders to take extra care and await medical assistance.

If the driver has already got out of the car and the light has come on, he is now obliged to present himself for a medical check, even if he appears to be OK. This scenario also applies to testing. The procedure is still under development and the FIA has yet to finalise exactly what size of impact will cause the light to go on.

Third drivers: Waiting on a friend

Teams are no longer allowed to run three cars on Friday, but any team may use a third or even a fourth driver at the expense of the race drivers, as long as he has an FIA Super Licence. Only two drivers can be used in each session, so there can be no swapping part way through the morning or afternoon.

It’s expected that teams following the option will use their third drivers only on Friday morning, but they are free to run them in both sessions or only in the afternoon, should they wish. However, any permutation has to be with the agreement of the stewards.

It’s worth pointing out that the third driver does not have to drive one of the actual race cars – he can drive his own chassis (effectively the spare, of course), as long as only two cars are out on the track at any one time. That does at least mean that the race driver who has to sit out the session won’t be stressed about ‘his’ car getting a bashing!

Indeed, there is nothing to stop a race driver from using the spare throughout Friday or taking it over from the third driver in the afternoon, should it be deemed advantageous. The only rider is that at all times the team must comply with the rollhoop TV camera colour requirements (see below).

Incidentally, decisions on granting of Super Licences are made by the FIA Permanent Bureau, which comprises Bernie Ecclestone, Max Mosley, Ron Dennis and Jean Todt. The indications are that they have been a lot stricter of late.

Car Livery: Mellow yellow

Now that there are no third cars running around on Fridays the identifying colours used on the rollhoop TV cameras have changed. Previously the camera on the nominated first car (i.e. the one with the lower race number) was fluorescent red, the second car black, and the extra third car yellow.

The camera on the first car is still red, but now the second car is yellow. Finally, a tiny one word clarification now makes it clear that the driver’s name has to appear on the external bodywork, something that was previously open to debate.

After the race: Get a move on!

Finally, a little change for the post-race slowing down lap – now all drivers have to return to parc ferme ‘without any unnecessary delay,’ which will put a stop to any race winner or local hero crawling along at walking pace to soak up the atmosphere. That sort of thing tends to delay the podium ceremony.
@ Marco
Plaats dan ten minste een linkje naar de bron van deze preview: Autosport.com, de beste Formule 1- en autosportsite van de wereld. :-D
@ Lustigson, zal ik de volgende keer doen, alleen ik heb hem niet via autosport.com (inderdaad de beste autosport site, van de wereld, en het blad is ook vele malen beter dan alle andere)
Even iets anders, Sauber, is dat ook niet onderdeel van Mercedes…???
Wanneer komt de eerste diesel in de F1?
@ c30 cdi nee sauber is bmw hoe is het btw met de 335d
Bayerische Motoren
Sorry, vind teveel zinloze regels en beperkingen in F1.
Teveel F1 wedstrijden worden in de pits gewonnen en niet op cicuit.
Als je de F1 kalender in je agenda bv Outlook of Google calendar wilt hebben bezoek dan eens deze site http://www.markthisdate.com/calendar/Formula_1_Season_2007_910.html. Reuze handig

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